THE Street Pastors organisation, which was started in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area, celebrates its 10th anniversary later this year and now covers most big communities in Fife.

One of people involved in the Street Pastors from its inception in 2014, Wilma Aitchison, told Cowdenbeath Rotary Club on Thursday how the structure had mushroomed, with volunteers now hitting the streets in Cowdenbeath, Lochgelly, Kelty, Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and the east of the county each weekend, to give assistance to anyone needing it.

Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches and they care about their community. They are on patrol from 7pm to midnight, on alternate Friday and Saturday nights, and are there to care for, listen to, and help people who are out on the streets.

Wilma, a Cowdenbeath woman who spent 12 years working in African country, Zaire, as a midwife and nurse, tackling a whole host of diseases such as HIV and Ebola, got involved in the CLOCK Street Pastors venture in 2014, when it was launched in the three local communities

She said: “The volunteers came from the local church community, going out each weekend and almost from the start we came across many people struggling with alcohol related situations and many of them were very young.”

Wilma, who is also involved in running in The Clearing facility, based on Cowdenbeath High Street, which sees local Christians offer support for people of all ages, said that one of the most striking situations the Street Pastors came across was in a local nightspot where a young man handed the Pastors on duty a note which said: “I need help.”

Wilma went on: “The young man told us that he had been taking drugs for some time and needed to be given advice on how to end something which was ruining his life.

“We were able to point him in the right direction and came across him some time later, when he came to us and said that his life had been turned around and he wanted to thank us. It was a really pleasing story he told us.

“There are each weekend similar situations happening in the communities the Street Pastors are working in, and we do what we can to offer assistance and this will continue.”

It is planned to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Street Pastors later this year.

Wilma is delighted to be able to volunteer to work in The Clearing, which is geared to encouraging people and families to flourish.

“Community togetherness is something which is strongly encouraged at The Clearing, and we will be having a massive leaflet drop in the Cowdenbeath area in June, when ‘A Father’s Loveletter’ will pop through every door to encourage people to find out about what help can be found at our High Street premises,” said Wilma.